UMS Faculty Focus Blog

UMS Faculty Focus

The UMS Faculty Focus blog publishes articles on effective teaching strategies for technology-enhanced, classroom, online, blended, or flipped learning experiences.  Faculty e-Learning Grant recipients and other UMS faculty are welcome to contribute. Please contact the UC Faculty Development Center if you are interested in writing an article for UMS Faculty Focus at


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Video as performance

I spent spring break creating videos and podcasts for my students. The idea comes from the inventive videos on YouTube which have created new ways to experience classical music. The most popular is, perhaps, where the score is displayed as the music unfolds:


Another style of video uses image to render the structures of the music as they happen in time. Here's a video of Bach's Crab Canon:

What makes this video so remarkable is not the technology, but how the images are consonent with the music. Everything from the choice of using Bach's original manuscript the way the counterpoint is animated work together--what we hear and see are in sync. 

For my first attempt I returned to an older project never finished, a video of Schubert's lied (song) "Erlkönig". Given the story of the "Erlkönig" (which I will let the video tell), along with my interest in approaching this performatively and not as an educational tool, I went with minimal visuals: black background, white lettering, and limited structural prompts. Above all I tried to keep the visuals from competing with the extraordinary images the song conjures on its own: 

A final note, rather than follow my advice--let performative priorities guide my technological choices--I did the opposite: I used Adobe Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro, a powerful program of which I can control only a small part. It was a mess!

The later videos, which I hope to upload soon, were done with iMovie (including the iPad version) which, like Flowvella, fit the kind of work I am creating. 

[UPDATE: Just notice there are problems between the coordination of music and text. Rather than fix it now (the file has problems), I'm going to focus on the videos I've started in the more user-friendly iMovie.]

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